SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - If you live in Somerset County you may be wondering, “Why are those orange bags tied to my recycling bucket?”

Somerset County Freeholder Director Mark Caliguire has the answer: “Our county recycling crews are delivering these colorful collection bags now for the annual Curbing Hunger Month food drive in June.  If your container is at the curb on your recycling pickup day between May 11 and 22, you’ll receive two bags.

“But don’t worry if you don’t get one of the orange bags,” he said.  “You can still make a curbside donation of canned food using any plastic grocery bag – just write ‘FOOD’ on it.”

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Food supplies are traditionally low during the summer months, when school lunch programs close and there are no holiday food drives.  That’s why the Curbing Hunger<http://www.curbinghunger.org/> food drive is held in June to help alleviate this annual shortage.  Donations are distributed to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County<http://www.somersetfoodbank.org/> and to local food pantries, including the Franklin Township Food Bank<http://franklinfoodbank.org/>.

The demand at local food banks and food pantries continues to exceed supplies on a regular basis.  You can help by filling your orange bags – or any plastic grocery bag – with canned goods and placing them at the curb on your recycling pickup days from June 1 to June 26. This is the 21st annual Curbing Hunger food drive.

Sponsors of the 2015 Curbing Hunger program include the Board of Chosen Freeholders; Curbing Hunger Inc.; the Courier News and MyCentralJersey.com; the PeopleCare Center for Nonprofits Inc.; Ashland Inc.; and Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus.  St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Basking Ridge is a founding sponsor.  Curbside collection of the food donations is done by county recycling crews and county and municipal public works employees.

If you miss either of your recycling days in June, curbside donations now are being collected year-round as well.  Use one of the orange bags or any plastic grocery bag to place canned food at the curb on any of your recycling collection days throughout the year<https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/CMS/Service/NJSOMER/NJSOMER_68/NJSOMER_68_77169.pdf>.

Donations of non-perishable food also are accepted at the First Saturday of the Month recycling drop-offs<https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/CMS/Service/NJSOMER/NJSOMER_68/NJSOMER_68_77166.pdf> held at the Somerset County Recycling Center at 40 Polhemus Lane in Bridgewater.